Call for Entries: Excellence in Online Journalism Award

$2,500 for Excellence in Online Journalism Award
Deadline: Oct. 5, 2009

The Online Journalism Award carries a $2,500 prize and is presented at the National Press Foundation's Annual Awards Dinner. Finalists will be selected by faculty from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University. The winner will be elected by representatives from the Newhouse School and NPF. The deadline for applications will be 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 5.

There is no application form. Any online site dealing with journalism is eligible. Applicants should e-mail the following:

1. The URL and a statement about the site and its unique properties

2. Information about journalistic achievements in the period of September 2008 through September 2009

3. Contact information including name, email and direct telephone number

Email applications to



Success Means Using Second-Day Approach

By Maureen Alley

Social media, RSS feeds, newsletters, blogs, video and more are everywhere allowing for faster and easier news syndication and information sharing. Great news, right? Well, it could be hurting your brand if you’re not doing it right. Are you using the second-day story approach to producing content online? If not, then your website visitors won’t even bother to read what you have to say because they’ve already heard it from a hundred other people.

So what’s an editor and writer to do? Think analytically. When news hits your desk, are you looking outside the box? Are you questioning what hasn’t been covered yet? Or are you simply repurposing it? If the tremendous growth of Web products tells us anything, it’s that people love information. So give it to them. Make your brand a must in their need to stay informed.

A few examples lately can highlight the exhaustion of the same news over and over: Patrick Swayze, Michael Jackson, racism and senators, Google and eBooks, Kanye West and Taylor Swift, plus many more.

For business-to-business editors, the news is much more niche, with fewer news sources covering the same industry eliminating the level of exhaustion we feel from regular consumer news. However, it’s still something to keep in mind. Even though there are fewer players covering your industry, it doesn’t mean your readers won’t feel annoyed by seeing the same stuff everywhere. Consider what’s missing in the coverage and give it to them. If you’re providing readers with quality content, they will see value in your brand and continue to come back to your site – ultimately increasing consumer engagement, loyalty and increased traffic numbers.

Maureen Alley is managing editor for Website Magazine, a trade publication dedicated to Web professionals. She was formerly managing editor for Residential Design & Build magazine, a property of Cygnus Business Media. Alley graduated with a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and is currently attending Roosevelt University in Chicago for her Masters of Science in Journalism. She has been a member of ASBPE since 2006 and was a judge for the 2009 Azbee Awards program. She writes a blog at about young journalists and new media. Contact her at malley13[at]gmail[dot]com.

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Legal Alert: Three Ways to Keep Out of Trouble

By Howard Rauch

Occasionally we need to remember that there is life beyond websites and digital issues. Basic editing snafus — especially those of a legal nature — can land us in hot water. Even experienced editors fall into an occasional trap involving libel or some other snag. Here are three reminders worth including in your editorial manual if you have one … or in a policy statement distributed to all staff members.

1. Avoid midstream reporting of undecided legal disputes. For example, the fact someone is charged with committing a crime or otherwise violating a regulation doesn’t mean the accused will be found guilty. In my editorial director days, I dealt with several situations where an editor interviewed the plaintiff in a dispute while the case was still in progress. The interviewee took some serious pot shots at the defendant’s character. If the article made it into print, we would have been up the creek. However, we had a policy that all articles of an inflammatory nature had to be cleared by a member of top management. That policy kept us out of trouble.

A variation on this theme is that X, one party to a dispute, issues a press release announcing intent to sue Y. The release includes a description of stiff penalties Y would incur if found guilty. You publish that information at your peril. Instead, wait until the case is settled. Meanwhile, obtain a copy of the complaint as a way of verifying the accuracy of the information contained in X’s press release.

2. Fact-check information excerpted from other media before it gets printed. If certain details are misleading or totally inaccurate, you may end up on the wrong side of a complaint. The fact that the excerpted material did not originate with you is no defense. In my consulting practice, I constantly needle editors who frequently use excerpted material in news sections. The better practice is to use, say, a newspaper article as a lead only. Then develop your own exclusive slant by following up with sources cited. Most likely, you know the parties quoted in the original story. If not, now you have an opportunity to make a new contact.

A variation on the above theme occurs when editors routinely reprint information from websites without obtaining clearance to do so. Remember that copyright privileges apply. Aggrieved parties are within their rights to make your life miserable.

3. Beware of using “endorsement language.” At the very least, resulting infractions will haunt you forever with important contacts. In this case, typical goofs occur in the way we edit (or don’t edit) new product announcements. I’m sure you know the drill. A product announcement lands on your desk filled with glowing descriptions of an item’s value to your readers. Experienced editors assume a “glow must go” position and routinely red-pencil all the puffy stuff. But from what I’ve seen, this is not real life at every publication. Among the glitches that sneak through are statements alleging that product X is better than all competitors. Or the announcement will claim that the product is the only one of its kind out there … or the first one in its field. You had better verify that competitive claims are true. If you can’t do that, please have a policy in place describing how to field complaints from competitors who have a legitimate beef.

Howard Rauch is president of Editorial Solutions Inc., a consultancy focusing on B2B magazines. Rauch is the 2002 recipient of ASBPE’s Lifetime Achievement Award. You can contact him directly at

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Drive Website Traffic, Boost Readership

Learn how to use online communities, social networks, and search engine optimization to increase readership, in print as well as online.

Save the date Thursday, Sept. 24 to join ASBPE and explore how to harness Web 2.0 to spread the word about your brand and content. Hear from a panel of digital content experts who will reveal how to effectively integrate social media and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies into a publication's reader-engagement activities.

You'll learn how to use Web 2.0 to...
  • build reader interaction and grow circulation.
  • boost brand recognition.
  • facilitate networking among readers.
  • recharge existing e-products and print products.
And find out how to...
  • select which social media and SEO strategies will be most effective for your organization.
  • involve the entire editorial staff in social media and SEO activities.
  • plan, launch, and integrate a social media and SEO strategy into your editorial operations and reader-interaction strategies.
Date: Sept. 24, 2009

Time: 1-2 p.m. Eastern

Price: ASBPE members: $10; nonmembers: $35.

To register:

Option 1: Pay online. Use the web form directly below to pay online via credit card or PayPal. Instructions for obtaining webinar access will be emailed to you once you have paid.Option 1: Pay online. Use the web form directly below to pay online via credit card or PayPal. Instructions for obtaining webinar access will be emailed to you once you have paid.

Select: Member or nonmember

Option 2: Pay by check or pay for multiple registrations at one time (regardless of payment method). Fill out this registration form (76K Word doc) and return it to Christina Pellett with your payment by Sept. 23. Webinar access information will be provided once you have registered.

About the Panelists

Elizabeth Glagowski, managing editor, interactive, leads the editorial production of 1to1 Media's online content, including 1to1 Weekly and The Marketing Xfactor e-newsletters, as well as the 1to1 on the Run podcast series. She is also a contributing writer to 1to1 Magazine and 1to1 Media's daily blog. Previously she served as director of Web content and design for 1to1 Media. Prior to joining 1to1 Media, Liz was the Web editor for

Joe Haddock is a seasoned eMedia professional with strong experiences in online strategy, sales management, audience/business development, and technology. As director of eMedia Business Development at Summit Business Media, he is currently responsible for improving the financial performance and audience engagement of the publishing company's core media products. Prior to joining Summit, Joe served as the Vice President of eMedia at WiesnerMedia and as a director of technology at Wicks Business Information.

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Economy Still Unstable?

By Elena Gontar

Given the industry’s current slump and the declining economy, any major real estate deal is particularly promising. In the last few months there have been quite a few of those. In view of the turbulent state of the market as of late, the latest leases and sales could provide some hope that a recovery is nearing. On the other hand, as the economy remains in the slump and continues to demonstrate evidence of instability, can occupancy across major sectors reverse its recent downturn? Is there likely to be a large-scale recovery anytime soon? May we dare to hope?

Also, as the difficult economic times continue, the unemployment rate keeps on the increase. However, when I was still working at Commercial Property News, new-hire announcements used to hit my inbox every day, and I had to write news briefs for CPN’s People on the Move section on an almost daily basis. One thing that has caught my attention is that many firms were busy tapping new managing directors, senior vice presidents and other high-level executive positions. As the nationwide unemployment rate continues to march upward, will real estate firms continue to make new executive hires? Or could the employment slowdown reach the upper management levels?

Elena Gontar is a real estate writer in Brooklyn. She can be reached at

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Social Media Addiction

Photo: Tonie AuerBy Tonie Auer
DFW Chapter President

After reading the notes taken from the Chicago chapter's roundtable discussions (here and here), I started thinking more about social media. I'm relatively new to the game and I'm usually dragged into it by someone else.

The National Board of the ASBPE pressured me into getting a LinkedIn account. Unwillingly, I dipped my toe in and actually started networking. It was pretty fun and has connected me with people in a positive way. It has been two or three years since I set up that account, but I've gotten a few viable leads for work out of it with minimal upkeep on my part.

Facebook came recently, and I really am addicted to it. Personally, it is a lot of fun to watch my friends. Professionally, I've seen some businesses really promote themselves in great fashion. For instance, a regional Mexican restaurant runs Facebook contests, and routinely I see dozens (sometimes pushing hundreds) of responses from fans of that restaurant. Another regional business that makes condiments runs posts every few days about something they are promoting or a recipe. There are many shining examples of how businesses can promote themselves on Facebook. And, once someone becomes a fan, many friends of that person may join in, too. It is like the old Faberge Organic shampoo commercials: You tell two friends and so on and so on.

So, what are you waiting for? My productivity has only gone down a small amount with my Facebook addiction. But, if you're my friend, you'll know my favorite movie quotes and maybe get a few referrals to some neat businesses. Why not try it and see how you can make it work for you and your publication?

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Do-It-Yourself Roundtable, Part 2

As we blogged about on Sept. 3, here is the second part of the notes taken by the Chicago chapter of the ASBPE held its first Do-It-Yourself Roundtable discussion.

Some of the information gathered included using Twitter and Productivity Tools.

TweetDeck – Downloadable application for your computer that offers “one-stop-shop” for posting, retweeting, replying, direct messaging, following topics, searching for topics.

Twhirl – Downloadable desktop application for posting, replying to and shortening URLs for Tweets.

Twitterfeed – allows you to pull in RSS feeds and send them into your Twitter stream. – allows you to shorten URLS and track click throughs on Tweets.

Twitter Search – lets you search for topics, words, etc. to find out what is trending or who is talking about it.

Tweeters to follow:


More Twitter Tips
  • Use PowerTwitter on Firefox (as opposed to IE).

  • If you’re going to be Tweeting as a group, use your pub name and real name:
    FoodProcessing_Erin (not a real address)
    ErinErickson (not a real address)

  • If you use your real name to tweet for your brand, but be careful not to mix too much pleasure with business:
    FoodProcessing_Erin: Pepsi CEO steps down; cites unruly eyebrow
    FoodProcessing_Erin: OMG that bartender is hot!

  • Use #hashtags to point out keywords in your tweets. Be sure to see if such a hashtag exists already.

  • @Twitter the “@” is part of your address.

  • RT = ReTweet
    Example of a retweet:
    @Ehal76 RT@foodprocessing Looking for examples of your favorite ice cream flavor. DM me your ideas!

  • DM = Direct Message

Fan Pages. Similar to personal Facebook pages. Can post images, videos, Twitter feeds and RSS feeds which people can “friend” and see updates from. It will not show who created it.

Use Facebook’s Twitter application to feed tweets into Facebook.

Use RSS Feed to feed tweets into Facebook – OR – Twitterfeed + Twitter application will feed your RSS into Facebook.

Group Pages
  • Are related around a cause or commonality.
  • Can not be “friended” but joined.
  • People need to visit the page to find out updates. Will not feed into their Updates.
  • Person who created the group is visible to others.

You can create widgets for your site(s) to display Twitter posts, RSS feeds, news updates.

Usually two types of B2B blogs:
  • Personal/Personality blogs can be informative, controversial or instructional (or all three).

  • Group blogs can combine different personalities or different reporters of information or instruction.
Personal/Personality blogs – it’s your name/you opinion. Attribute (and link) the same way you would an article. Let comments in unless they are downright attacks (“Purina tastes like crap”). Make sure you’re correct in your reporting and don’t publish false news.

You are not liable for other people’s opinions on your comments.

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Happy Labor Day

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

According to the Department of Labor:
The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.
To honor the American worker, I think we deserve a day off, too. The ASBPE National Blog will resume posting on Sept. 10. Enjoy your day off.

Do-It-Yourself Roundtable, Part 1

Earlier this summer, the Chicago chapter of the ASBPE held its first Do-It-Yourself Roundtable discussion. Why a do-it-yourself? Because we realize that more heads are better than one, and what better way to learn than from your fellow publishing professionals! The attendees picked the topics, and ASBPE provided the moderators.

The format was simple: four roundtables, each with its own topic and moderator to get the discussion rolling. After 45 minutes, everyone switches tables and topics or stayed where they were.

Some of the information gathered included the most popular social media sites B2B editors can use for free:


Helpful social media sites to read:

Chris Brogan

Important things to remember:

Have a plan for why you’re using social media with your site. Is it to find more readers? Sources? Advertisers? To conduct market research? To be in the mix with everyone else? To communicate with others?

Social media is an extension of your brand, not a replacement. Don’t bet everything on your Facebook Fan Page becoming incredibly popular or on Tweets. They are tools to communicate with the masses about who you are and what you do.

Use different information for different social media sites. Be friendly and communicative on Twitter. Invite and entice action. Post events and fun things on Facebook (in addition to news, videos, etc.). Create a group for like-minded folks on LinkedIn. Assume a more business-like persona.

Be Authentic. If you have a happy-go-lucky personality let that shine in your Tweets, blogs, Facebook posts, etc. People want to interact with a human, not a machine.

Try using social media personally first; then when you understand how to use it, do it for work/site.

On Sept. 10, we'll run more notes from the event. We're taking Labor Day off. We hope you get to, as well.

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